It ends for Rangana Herath the way it will end for all of us – sprawled on our faces in defeat

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Some way into the evening session of day four at Galle, Rangana Herath clumsily reverse swept England’s Adil Rashid directly behind the wicketkeeper. He took a run and then, with the impetuousness of youth, ill-advisedly tried to take a second run.

Blessed with in-built padding, Herath was happy to bring out the dive. He then dusted himself down as he waited to hear that he hadn’t made his ground and that his career had therefore ended in a 211-run defeat.

Rangana Herath played a whole career in the shadow of arguably the greatest spin bowler of all time. Then, having played that career, rather than calling it a day like anyone else would, he played a whole extra massively successful career in which he took 433 Test wickets.

Where his predecessor was the most eye-catching spin bowler imaginable, Herath was pretty much the opposite. He built his success not on the one that ripped but on the one that unexpectedly didn’t. The relationship between the threat he appeared to present and the threat that he actually did present was such that we called him the homicidal capybara.

Herath has been excellent and now he is retiring. You might think that an undignified bellyflop into the dirt in a huge defeat is no way for a man of his stature to bow out. We disagree. The best way to leave something behind is to focus not on your achievements, but on all the bad times and how you’re glad you’re finally shot of them.

Rangana Herath.


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    1. Tres? OK, he strangely didn’t play any test cricket until the 2000s but he has been around since the 1890s.

      Shiv? Has he hung up his barm cakes or whatever, yet?

  1. Returning to the subject of “horses for courses”, I realise that Daisy and I coincidentally encountered a somewhat gutless horse in Japan that, sadly, will no longer be taking on any courses now that it has served its role on the appetizers course:

    Nice pics for those who like nice pics.

    I wonder which Japanese dish Rangana Herath would represent? Soba noodles?

    1. He’s the earliest test debutant who will definitely play his country’s next test match.

      A couple to not rule out due to West Indies shenanigans: Marlon Samuels (debut in 2000) is still knocking around in one day cricket and could get a gig. Devon Smith (2002) played tests earlier this year.

    1. Even as I pick Warne, I know I’m doing a colossal disservice to Murali. 800 wickets are not up for fun.

  2. I have not personally experienced a day or even a session in the Eric Hollies Stand at Edgbaston. But I have oft seen it from the opposite side of the ground and have experienced it vicariously through Nigel and Chas, as reported on this site:

    But Daisy and I did experience Halloween night in Osaka a few days ago, which i think had some similarities – see the link that will follow in the next posting…

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